Monday, February 22, 2010

Captain America 603: Revolution Calling...

After calling out Joe Quesada for being a big fat liar for his denials regarding the intent of Captain America 602, (the first part of "Two Americas"), I noticed 603 had hit the shelves. I picked it up to see if the theme continued, and this is what I read...from the narrative describing the thoughts of the "Bad" (meaning "right wing loon terrorist") Cap:

Today is a different era...And they understand the important thing is that America has lost its way...

That it needs a revolution...

Now, this is pretty ironic timing, with the recent suicide flight into the IRS building...even more "uncanny," given that Glenn Beck is getting flack from Keith Olbermann over Beck's his recent comment about the Left being about "revolution," while what Beck stands for is "evolution." But it doesn't take a mutant psychic to know that it's not life imitating the funny pages, but the funny pages imitating life, if one thinks in principles. Anyone who's read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals knows that Beck, love him or hate him, is not pulling this out of his ass:

The significant changes in history have been made by revolutions. There are people who say that it is not revolution but evolution, that brings about change--but evolution is simply the term used by nonparticipants to denote a particular sequence of revolutions as they synthesized into a specific major social change.

Anyway, there's another reason I picked this issue up, along with the 602, which was to explore a comment made by Marvel's Editor Joe Quesada in his "apology" over the "tea bag" sign in 602. In that interview, Quesada claims

However, where I do take exception with Mr. Houston’s article is when he states that we are calling the Tea Party racist...wait I’m sorry, that we’re saying that every white person is a racist along with several other horrible and inflammatory accusations. Nothing can be further from the truth, accidental placement of a Tea Party sign or not, those sentiments are not in the pages of our comics and are a complete and irresponsible misrepresentation. And as for his criticism of the remarks made by the character of Sam Wilson, this is a four-issue series. So to really get a full picture of why he feels the way he does and what conclusions he comes to at the end of the story, you really need to read the whole thing and not just judge a story and its intent on the first issue. What we do at Marvel is provide our readers with the unexpected and many times what is on the surface is not what is really going on.

Regarding the "racist" comment: Quesada, you're full of shit: No one has to read an unpublished comic to know why that comment would raise controversy. You'd have to be living under a fucking rock for the past year or two if you don't know that Tea Party protesters have been called racist by the likes of American Airheads like Jeanine "I'm not funny, I'm caustic and bitter" Garafalo, and "Worst Person in the World" Keith Olbermann. Either that, or you're a piss-poor excuse of an Editor-in-Chief...or an outright liar, imho. But given the nature of comics, I was intrigued by his other comment about the "unexpected" and getting "below the surface." Issues 602 and 603 are only the first half, so I'm interested to see just what this "twist" will be...not that I expect any radical departures, but to see how they squirm outta this one...but again, if one thinks in principles, one can make an educated guess as to what will happen...

Given that this story arc is coinciding with the "Captain America Reborn" storyline, which resurrects the "real" Captain America, and that the current Cap is Bucky Barnes, and the "Bad" Cap is a a psychopath third character altogether...How do I think this will end? Think "wishy-washy." The real Cap will probably show up, defeat the "Bad Cap," and act as a bridge between the Right and the Left, acting as the bi-partisan wish-fulfillment of Barack Obama. (This ending has many precedents; the one that comes immediately to my mind is the ending of D.C.'s Kingdom Come.) But this isn't typical Charlie Brown wishy-washiness, it's the "wishy-washiest." No, this "ending" is also straight outta' Alinsky:

Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.

This was the basis of the "apocalyptic" m.o. of Kingdom Come, for starters...And, in "Who Will Wield the Shield?", "Reborn" Cap visits the White House, and meets with an off-page Obama, expressing that he doesn't feel ready to "carry the shield," but assured by Obama that "this country's going to need to call on you for something much bigger..."

But hey! This is a comic book; anything can happen; people fly and swing around, turn into giants and monsters, and come back from the dead. Hell, they even violate continuity...all the time. So, anything could happen in the next two issues. But in the real world, reality cannot be so easily altered, and principles, even if ignored, will out. (And that's why the Tea Parties will give out, if Sarah Palin is to be their over.) Given that Obama "learned his lessons well" from Saul Alinsky, I bet he does have big plans for Captain America... As another Beck so eloquently puts it, "All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war." And no, he ain't talking 'bout comic books. But considering that this whole story arc is the logical end result of Marvel's Civil War storyline, well, it's just one more demonstration of the power of thinking in principles...but just "one more day" for Marvel Comics, as Quesada continues to edit deals with the devil...

'Til next month, "true believers..."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Brother in Lower Merion Township

From Lower Merion School District Sued for Cyber Spying on Students

Lower Merion School District officials brag that they give every one of their 1,800 high-schoolers laptop computers to "ensure that all students have 24/7 access to school-based resources."

Instead, they ensured they got a 24/7 sneak peek into students’ private lives by secretly monitoring webcams embedded in the laptops to spy on teens and their families at home, according to a federal, class-action lawsuit filed this week in Philadelphia.

Have you got it yet???

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marvel's Civil War? or, Free Captain America!

From The Washington Post: "Marvel Admits to "Mistake" in Controversial Captain America Comic"
In issue number 602 of Captain America, a new story line has begun called “Two Americas.” In it, the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux-Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner, The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
Here's the key scene featuring a nasty little leftist smear against the Tea Parties (click to enlarge). I expect this from the usual suspects, the Hannities, the Huffingtons, the Matthews, so I am not suprised to see Marvel plays the race card; The Falcon says: "I don't exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks."
Now, I am not a Republican, and I am not a supporter of a Republican/Palin takeover of the Tea Party movement (I'm an Objectivist, for one, and only support the Tea Party on an ad hoc basis), so let me say that since I am not an "angry white person," but an "angry AMERICAN." Falcon, you're more than welcome to join us angry Americans; you too, Cap. But since you're simply the mouthpieces of Marvel Commie Comics, I won't be holding my breath...
Now, as for Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and his apologetics:
Joe Quesada: Hold on. Before digging into this, you're starting from a false premise. There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed [Brubaker] simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.

And yes, what Ed said is absolutely true, he does shy away from labeling things and did exactly that in this instance. In Ed’s story, there was no connection to the Tea Party movement, that’s a screw up that happened after the fact and exactly what some people are getting upset about.
Let me be the first to say it: BULLSHIT. Comics have a long history of saying in metaphor what people are hesitant to say outright; comics, fairytales, and other art forms have long been used as subversive means of propaganda. And Marvel has its own tradition of left-wing sympathizing. I'm not stupid; I remember what Marvel did with Captain America after 9-11. Stan Lee's own words betray the Marvel politics: "you couldn't have Captain America going around punching Muslims today, it wouldn't work, it would be silly." And since Barack Obama, the target of many Tea Party protesters, has appeared positively in a Spider-Man comic, I find it painfully hard to believe that this story was written with no intended reference to the Tea Parties whatsoever; don't piss on my back and tell me it's just Storm passing by...
It's looking like Civil War will be more than just a comic book, so, once again, I bring you A Show of Hands: A Cautionary Tale of Heroes in Exile. (pdf)
Free Captain America! I have an idea: Riffing off of Dave Chappelle's "Racial Draft" skit, I propose a "Hero Draft '10." Marvel can keep all the other heroes, even Spider-Man, my all-time favorite, for Captain America...

The Clot Thickens as the Evidence Melts

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

(Just don't expect him to abandon the cause, of course...)

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ya Know...

Ya know...I thought these Toyota Prius hybrids that are being recalled were supposed to replace the clunkers, not become them...